Cybersecurity incidents are increasing globally, posing a serious risk to organizations’ sensitive data. The rise in digitization and a widespread shift to remote and hybrid work environments only add to the need for data security. Now more than ever, organizations of all sizes and sectors must implement a cohesive privacy compliance plan to protect their data and their business interests.
In support of this point, we can observe three compelling cybercrime statistics that make a case for improved data security measures in companies of all sizes and industries.
Cybercrime Victims Lose an Estimated $318 Billion Annually
In 2021, a team of researchers at Comparitech examined the top 100 countries by GDP to evaluate the impact they experience as a direct result of cybercrime. Using reports that included specific monetary values, the team estimated that 71.1 million people are victims of cybercrimes each year, and victims lose an average of $4,476 per person. In total, that represents a worldwide loss of $318 billion annually.
In this study, the United States was placed as one of the countries most affected by cybercrime, reporting 5.28 million victims and a yearly loss of $28 billion.
However, it is critical to note that cybercrimes are severely underreported, and the actual figures are likely much higher. Furthermore, this study looked only at direct financial losses without accounting for additional costs, such as loss of productivity or damage to a brand’s image following a data breach. With these realities in mind, the potential cost of data vulnerabilities is much higher for businesses than even the Comparitech estimate can represent.
It is no wonder, then, that in addition to significant financial losses, data breaches induce levels of anxiety that psychologists say “rival those of traditional terrorism.”
The Average American Small Business Loses $25k Due to a Cyberattack
There has long been a misconception that small or mid-sized businesses are unlikely targets for cybercrime, but this is patently not the case. International specialist insurer Hiscox released the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 with a focus on businesses’ ability to remain resilient at a time when cyberattacks are increasing. During the 12 months in which the information was collected, 23% of small businesses experienced a cyberattack, which cost these companies an average of $25,612. This suggests that nearly 1 in 4 small businesses incur significant losses due to insufficient data security.
As companies of all sizes reinvent their workflows — which may include the shift to a remote work environment — no businesses are immune to online threats. More than half of those employed by small businesses now work from their laptop or desktop. As a direct result, these companies are increasingly vulnerable to the risk of cyberattacks.
Although large corporations also suffer significant losses in the event of a data breach, the costs are especially difficult for smaller companies to absorb. With limited capital and resources to recover from the manifold consequences of a cyberattack, 60% of small businesses end up closing within six months following a data breach.
While the cybersecurity industry is becoming more adept at mitigating these attacks, it is of the utmost importance that small businesses take preventative measures. This should involve educating employees about safe remote working practices, continuously monitoring all critical networks, and implementing advanced data protection software to decrease the likelihood of a successful cyberattack.
92% of Data Breaches in Q1 2022 Were Due to Cyberattacks
Recent data from the Identity Theft Resource Center found that 92% of data breaches in Q1 of 2022 were related to cyberattacks. This was the third consecutive year that showed year-over-year increases in the number of data breaches, illustrating a disturbing upward trend.
Industries that involve highly sensitive, personal information proved even more susceptible to cybercrime than organizations in other sectors, with the most vulnerable industries including financial institutions, manufacturing and utilities, professional services, and healthcare.
With only 8% of breaches resulting from a system or human error, cyberattacks were responsible for the lion’s share of data leaks, manifesting in various forms. The most typical types of cyberattacks include the following:
- Phishing attacks are the most common type of cyberattack, which entails the sending of fraudulent communication that appears valid, often in the form of an email or text message. According to Proofpoint’s 2022 State of the Phish report, 83% of survey respondents experienced a phishing attack in 2021.
- Botnet attacks have increased 106% according to the Automated Fraud Benchmark Report: E-commerce Edition from PerimeterX. Botnet attacks are large-scale cyberattacks during which cybercriminals use remotely controlled malware-infected devices to infiltrate and compromise networks.
- Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, posing a threat to businesses in all sectors. Ransomware is malware that holds files hostage and encrypts them until the company pays a ransom in the form of digital currency. CrowdStrikes annual Global Security Attitude Survey revealed that the average ransom payment had increased 63% from $1.10 million in 2020 to $1.79 million in 2021, suggesting that ransomware may become more and more crippling for companies in the coming years.
Prioritizing Better Data Security with Sertainty
As cyber threats continue to advance in number, cost, and sophistication, it is clear that robust cybersecurity technologies are crucial to ensuring data privacy and protection. Cybercriminals are now implementing advanced tactics, and perimeter-based security methods are no longer an adequate solution for companies seeking data protection.
Companies must remain vigilant and utilize cutting-edge data protection technologies in order to stay safe and competitive. With Sertainty UXP Technology, organizations can ensure data privacy with the utilization of zero trust infrastructure and self-protecting data. This innovative technology empowers data to govern, defend, and track itself.
Sertainty privacy solutions ensure that data is continually self-authenticating, following the principles of zero trust architecture. Illegitimate users are denied access by continuous verification measures, so your organization can ensure that only authorized users can handle your data — while still providing those authorized users with flexibility and seamless data access. Sertainty data also has self-tracking capabilities, complete with event logs, which ensure a reliable data chain of custody that can be monitored and reviewed by the data owners.
With cybercrime statistics painting an inarguable need for greater emphasis on data security, businesses cannot afford to bet their privacy on lax or outdated measures. For more information about how Sertainty can revolutionize your organization’s data privacy, contact our team today.